Posted in PEACE GROOVES

Ending Online Defragmentation

Over the past year, I have:

deactivated 4 twitter accounts,

deleted 2 Facebook pages,

canceled 1 LinkedIn account,

deleted 1 Pinterest account,

let Google Plus die,

canceled 3 photography site memberships,

canceled my Amazon Prime membership and am no longer shopping on Amazon,

am no longer posting on or checking my Facebook account,

deleted both Etsy and Square Online stores for my inlay business,

deleted multiple apps from my phone,

unsubscribed from multiple email lists (ongoing),

unsubscribed from multiple Yahoo groups as Yahoo Groups has gone away,

And

removed many notification permissions from multiple apps on my phone (ongoing).

As a result, I am:

happier,

feeling less all over the place,

writing more,

feeling more centered,

having fewer interruptions,

praying more,

updating my resume,

dreaming again,

finishing art projects

and …

anticipating some thing(s) amazing just around the bend.

Posted in Art and Photography

(ART) Escheresque I

Pen and Ink on Paper

copyright 2019 kmls

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

The Lost Parts of I

i am the scattered one
fragments cast
across the cybersphere
a million pieces of me
invisible
mixing with you
over my head
in the air
like silent wraiths

i am everywhere
and nowhere
omnipresent
without divinity
immortal
in search of my soul
my essence
sucked from
me by vampire
screens

i am the silent one
removed to the cave
away from the
false gods
of fire and wind
and storm
drawing deeper within
to call
a quiet shout

like bats
the lost parts
of i
hear and begin
their returning
to me
like smoke
in the bright
red morning

Posted in Musings and Reflections

I know this is not where you expected to wind up, but I hope you’ll stick around for at least a little while and then stop by again.

Search engines are not omnipotent.

Gazing over this past year’s stats, I cannot help but wonder which posts were actually visited on purpose and which were a matter of mistaken identity, their stickiness catching the unwary flies on the web.

There are endless discussions and ideas about how to drive traffic to your site, what tags to use, how to create a fetching title, and so on. I’ve tried most if not all of them. I have been blogging for over 10 years. The number of followers has remained around the same. Readership and views has increased somewhat based on how much I write, maybe 25-30 views a day for a post.

The only thing viral about my blog is when I post about being sick.

It can be disheartening, especially when I see others much younger than I suddenly discovering and writing about topics I have been exploring for years unnoticed while they garner much glory, laud, and honor.

But comparison is a dead end street.

Who or what defines success, or for that matter, a meaningful post? I love sharing and want it to be just as meaningful to you, the reader. But if it isn’t, does it make it any less precious? Does what I write give me joy, and is that enough?

I am learning that with all of the forums available, there are so many options to share, so many voices seeking an ear, with really no rhyme or reason as to which voice suddenly grows louder at any given moment.

And here I am, one more voice clamoring to be heard.

I am not sure if I should go completely silent. That is always an option. Call it a day. Go back to filling loose leaf notebooks with scribblings. Gather them back into myself like precious friends. (Do I feel so disjointed and scattered because I have cast so much of myself out upon the web?)

Or is it just a matter of letting go of the ego and writing simply for the words’ sake, because I love to, and if it resonates with you then that is even more wonderful, right?

Honesty causes me to look deeply inside and wonder if I truly wish for more followers or if I am pointing others to the One to follow.

All very good things to ponder I think. So for now, I will write, and let the words fall where they may . . . midst weeds, thorns, or soil, hard or soft.

Posted in Peace Quotes

Quote – America’s Prisons

As a fellow author from Mississippi, I am a big fan of John Grisham. (My signed copy of Street Lawyer is quite precious). Now I am even more impressed after I have begun listening to The Guardians. I found the following quote to be quite insightful:

“In white America, prisons are good places where bad men pay for their crimes.”

“In black America, they are too often used as warehouses to keep minorities off the streets.”

John Grisham, The Guardians, Chapter 7

Posted in Musings and Reflections

Do You Speak My Languish?

I prefer the older definitions. They seem less negative, more nuanced.

(archaic)
pine with love or grief.
“she still languished after Richard”
(archaic)
assume or display a sentimentally tender or melancholy expression or tone.
“when a visitor comes in, she smiles and languishes”

This then is an ode to the languishing. It is a place where one has arrived to find broken dreams, unfinished projects, hoped for successes all for naught.

Mr. Hughes spoke of holding fast to dreams, and mine remain close. Yet, I still feel like a broken winged bird that cannot fly, confused, shot from the sky by the unrealized.

Perhaps the time for holding fast is done.

I wonder if languishing is simply another word for letting go.

I do not like this place.

I am afraid.

I do not want to be labeled lazy.

And yet action for action sake is “sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

The tendency is to move! move, damnit!

Who or what determines a life’s success?

Do I still have a good heart, as she told me long ago? Perhaps I will ask her that today.

As my tongue lies thick in my mouth, while I try to learn this new language of languish.

Posted in Musings and Reflections

Awaiting 2020

last night
after i dropped him off
and made sure he was
comfortable in his room
i returned
through the fog
my world
like his
now smaller
farsight
a mass of white
revealed only
bit by bit
by going slow

i missed my turn off
confused by the changes
wrought by the mist
places once familiar
no longer
the lights adding
to my blindness
yet gradually
i found my
way home

i know not what
the new year holds
the next stop
on the journey
hidden within
the fog of
the not yet
faith keeps me
on the road
the answer
found perhaps
in my love for an
aging man
sitting alone
in a small
room

Posted in Musings and Reflections

A Hidden Life – Why I’m Leaving Facebook

Recently I had the privilege of attending a pre-showing of the movie “A Hidden Life.” To say that I was profoundly affected would be an understatement. I sense that there will be other changes occurring in my life as I continue to reflect on the quiet faith and conviction of an Austrian farmer, yet there is one that I feel I must make in the new year.

That change is to leave Facebook, at least the public, manually posting part. (My PeaceGrooves and Lyndaker Inlay pages will update automatically when I post to my blogs for now I think, but I will not be maintaining them or overally obsessing about visits, comments, etc).

I have appreciated connecting and re-connecting with many folks I have known over the years. I have been encouraged by comments and likes for various posts or endeavors I have shared.

Yet I have also been frustrated by the tendency for folks to engage in online discussions that are really not very productive or to present opinions that they otherwise would not dare to do so face to face. In other words, there seems to be a greater appreciation of the relationship, lack of ego as it were, when one does not have the distance the internet provides. There is also an illusion of it being a safe place to share anything when the reality is, it is anything but.

There is a moment near the end of the first Highlander movie when the main character states that with his new powers, if he is quiet, he can hear the thoughts of everyone in the world. As much as I would love to, I can’t, nor can I keep up with the lives of my friends on Facebook. I’m not the Highlander. Nor am I God. I cannot nor should I strive to be omnipresent. And it can be overwhelming at times looking into the rather strange window that persons choose to present on FB. As much as I feel I have something to share too, there is quite a cacophony out there, with a plethora of voices competing to be heard, and so, as difficult as it may be, I am going to remove one voice, my own, from the noise.

I began by limiting the notifications I received, even at the cost of missing birthdays. Still I found myself succumbing to the temptation to visit FB. I continue to be in the process of limiting all of my notifications, because I am realizing that my everyday life is constantly being interrupted and my ability to remain attentive is subverted by the distractions. I have yet to find a notification, however important, that fits the definition of “the one necessary thing.” I must ask myself if I am growing more receptive to the still small voice that calls me from my cave (internet cafe?) or less so as a result.

The older I get, the more I realize that I am on borrowed time, and there is no substitute for real rather than virtual interactions with people. If I am honest with myself I have fallen into the illusion of connection that FB presents. I must also confess that I have sought out validation based on responses or lack thereof to my posts. And I must ask myself if my online presence is truly Christlike or is it quite frankly about feeding my ego?

I must admit that I spend way too much time online. Am I happier as a result? I don’t think so. I also wonder if some of my discontentment is fostered by my scrolling through FB posts. I did see a survey awhile back that stated that folks who left FB were less informed, but happier. Am I the only one obsessed with information, suffering within the paradox of sensory overload yet never getting enough? And do I really want to keep giving away pieces of myself and my loved ones to the internet giants?

Part of this is about taking my life back. Like Pavlov’s dog, I have been well trained. And similarily, no matter how much I salivate, the bell, however loud, is no substitute for real food.

I’m not withdrawing from the world. Rather I hope to be more fully engaged in the world….the real one. I seek less face-time or Face-book, and more face to face. I invite anyone to visit or give me a call. My line and door will always be open.

Or feel free to comment here or zip me an email. I do intend to continue to explore contemplative writing as long as it does not feed the ego and remains prayer, which requires much practice. To that end, I have found blogging quite helpful. Again I welcome your responses and reflections here now and for future posts.

I hope to do more longer length writing. Perhaps on paper like I used to and not so much on the screen. I’ll keep working with my hands. I’ll still have an online presence I think but I want to be fully open to the possibility that perhaps I should have none.

Other changes are in the wind I think as I continue to reflect on what it means to live A (more) Hidden Life.

Posted in Musings and Reflections

A Hidden Life

I am wondering if it is time to be silent;

To remove myself from the noise, to be one less voice clamoring to be heard.

I am still so full.

I have so much to share.

Yet who am I to say my voice is more important than any other’s? There are so many….singing, crying, shouting, falling silent.

I am overwhelmed by information, by the incredible cacophony of sound, of the millions living and dying around me.

This is not simply a moment of stepping away, a few days spent in quiet. There seems to be a greater pull, another voice calling me away into the dark depths of my soul.

There is a dying here, a fear that I will become forever mute and unheard, that I will forgo my responsibility to creation and others by withdrawing,

Though there seems to be a difference now, as if the crashing outside the cave is only that and that if I wait with intention I will be called out into the light of purpose in a timing not my own by the quiet voice of God.